Wearside League: Boss Stobbart delighted with Silksworth’s strength in depth ahead of Shields clash

Boldon CA (black and white) fight to deliver a cross in last week's 0-0 draw with Redcar Athletic.
Boldon CA (black and white) fight to deliver a cross in last week's 0-0 draw with Redcar Athletic.
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Silksworth Colliery Welfare look forward to tomorrow’s visit of South Shields Reserves after taking six points from their previous two games in the TWR Bifolds Wearside League.

That run of form has propelled them up the standings and they now sit in eight position, just three points off top spot.

Manager Andrew Stobbart said: “The squad has shown its strength in depth and quality in the past week, as players continue to recover from injuries.

“We look to have more players available for this game, so we will be aiming for a continuation of our recent form.”

Stobbart added: “Late fitness tests will be carried out on defenders Steven Bagshaw and Andrew Donnelly, who are both looking to shake off minor knocks and striker Nathan Renton could also return to the fold.

“Despite the injuries, performances have continued to improve and the squad’s versatility has been very useful.”

South Shields manager Lee-Paul Scroggins, who had former Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca in his team for their midweek game against Harton and Westoe, will be looking to strengthen his squad in advance of the fixture at Silksworth (2.30pm).

Kane O’Reilly is still doubtful, following a knock he picked up at Cleator Moor, and David Graham is also facing a fitness problem with a calf injury picked up last week at Prudhoe.

Sunderland West End travel to Windscale and the home side may see the return of brothers Rhys and Ellis Brett.

Wide-man Dean Fox looks to be out for a month with a hamstring problem, while Jordan Bowness will test his sore ankle out in midweek.

Manager David Wilkinson plans to talk to midfielder Darren Donald about his no show last Saturday, before finalising his selection for the game.

West End, meanwhile, have made a strong start to the season and sit seventh in the table, having picked up three wins from their first five games.

That leaves them just three points behind league leaders Cleator Moor.

Hartlepool welcome near neighbours Wolviston to the Grayfields Enclosure and Dean Cope and goalkeeper Elliot Coils return, after 16-year-old goalkeeper Liam Grayson made his debut at Richmond, after Josh Noble injured his hand.

Luke Naylor, John Stephenson, Jordan Fielding, Jack Swales, Rob Hammond and Andy Blackburn were missing for the trip to Cumbria last week, but are expected to return.

Official John Ward said: “We now have three home games to kick start the season, we have played good football to date, but have not had any luck.

“It was a good point at Windscale with so many missing, as we included eight players aged between 16 and 19.”

Wolviston manager Steve Cook will have to make enforced changes this week, due to the dismissal last Saturday of in-form goalkeeper Chris Davidson during the defeat at Annfield Plain.

Cook said “We only have ourselves to blame as we created sufficient chances throughout the game to have won comfortably, and then falling to a last minute controversial goal, was difficult to accept.”

He added: “Chris was a silly boy and knows he has let the club down.

“Karl Wellard will come in, who is a good young goalkeeper, who is still learning his trade, but will not let us down.

“Also returning to the team will be utility player Jae Wilson, who had work commitments last week.”

Struggling Coxhoe Athletic welcome Redcar Athletic and the visitors will be without captain Lance Skelton, who starts a three-match ban. Michael Woodhouse will take over possession of the captain’s armband.

Joe Blackburn is available to return to the squad and the timing is ideal, in line with Skelton’s suspension.

Summer signing Michael Dalton could make his first start after being on the bench for the last two games.